Gujarat issued a government resolution (GR) on Saturday, giving minority status to the Jain community.
Transport minister and BJP state unit chief Vijay Rupani made the announcement in Ahmedabad.
The previous UPA government at the Centre had conferred the minority status on the community at the national level in January 2014.
“Chief minister Anandiben Patel decided on Saturday to accord minority status to the Jain community. The matter had been put on hold for some time due to the Patidar reservation agitation,” said Rupani who himself is a Jain.
“A GR has been issued today,” he added.
The decision was also pending so far because a large section of the Jain community felt that several rituals of the community are similar to those practised by the Hindus, so the Jains are a part of the Hindu community and should not be treated as separate entity, he said.
“The decision has nothing to do with reservations. The status will benefit the poor among the Jain community as they can avail of various scholarships, government welfare schemes. Jain institutions will get special status like the one given to Christian and Muslim institutions,” he said.
The decision comes within a week of the state government awarding 10% reservation to the economically backward class among the upper castes in the face of Patel (Patidar) community’s agitation for OBC quota.